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Beckett's third thriller to feature Dr. David Hunter, who was almost stabbed to death in 2007's Written in Bone, takes Hunter from his familiar British surroundings to Tennessee's legendary Body Farm, where researchers study how corpses decompose. When evidence surfaces that a serial killer is at large, Hunter's mentor and Body Farm director, Tom Lieberman, enlists his help in tracking down the culprit. After the killer abducts profiler Alex Irving, fears escalate that future victims will include other members of the investigating team.A Still traumatized by his brush with death and unsure of the validity of his instincts, Hunter takes a while to hit his stride. As in Written in Bone, Beckett ratchets up the suspense by inserting short sections from the murderer's perspective, and keeps the tension taut to the end with a late twist. While the final revelation won't surprise everyone, this entry reinforces the author's place in the front rank of forensic crime novelists. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.